Review: Oyaide R 1 Tweak

Category: Accessories

I purchased an Oyaide R 1 after reading the Positive Feedback review. Heck, it was only $145: cheaper than a new line conditioner, although I recently bought the Audience aR2p-Teflon unit.
what I look for is vivacity in music: jump, rhythm, tonality, dynamic nuance (micro) and emotional communication.

The unit arrived today. As my main system is out for repair (ASL Hurricanes, Convergent preamp (recent -- and used -- purchase, and problems from hour 1), this was it for now.
I pulled out the FIM 880, installed the Oyaide and immediately heard what had been missing: transients and the silences between notes. I wasn't sure what would turn up, but the violin section now sounds like a collection of strings instead of a vague section where one could imagine one was hearing more instruments before, but now KNOWS one is hearing more individual instruments. It's not that you can hear 20 violins per se, but the section itself is larger, more spread out, without being diffuse. Percussion is clearly better, as is brass, woodwinds, too. Focus is somewhat better, but the layering is immediately and quite strongly better. The whole communication in all 4 movements of Scheherazade on the JVC XRCD disc (which I've never liked that much) seemed more like the RCA version, which is clearer and less glassy. It's closer to the live mike feed from the Metropolitan Opera on Saturday afternoons without actually achieving it.
Bass is more dynamic (although the FMJ 22 is not terribly strong in that department) and has more impact (the room actually shakes) and is also furthur back on the stage. And the stage itelf, once seeming to vanish as it approached the ceiling of my room, now has a limitless sense of height. Orchestra Hall now seems enormous, where before, the volume of that space was left to the imagination on my system, so that means its wider, deeper, higher. And when a cut starts, if the players are not immediately playing, you hear the ambience of the room. Low-level resolution, such as chari scrapes, bows moving at the wrong time, are easily apparent, even while reading. In fact, you could read a magazine and even without focusing, you'll hear these. Given that the Hales Rev 3s are a bit dark in the bass, that's rather an accomplishment.
I'd buy a couple of these, then a line conditioner, THEN power cords, as clearly, the outlet comes before any of the other two.
A great achievement, and second only to the Audience line conditioner I got, which is completely dazzling if what you are trying to achieve is a sense of a live mike feed. I'm ordering another one to install in the wall where the Audience unit is seated. As HP said, the Audience Teflon version makes the sense of listening thru electronics more "invisible" as in truer-to-life. So does the Oyaide R1. Highly recommended.

Associated gear
Arcam FMJ22, Arcam CD23, Hales Revelation 3, Alpha Goertz AG-2 speaker cable, Nordost Frey interconnects

Similar products
FIM 880, PS Audio outlets
A followup about the Oyaide.
I've had it for 10 days (as of tonight at 10pm) and I think there's something extremely important to mention.
The unit will sound excellent from the box, but DOES sound better after a week of being on my Arcam FMJ integrated).
HOWEVER, a friend and I listend to the Kirov Orchestra Scheharazade (Philips 470 618-2)and it sounded great. Didn't give it a second thought, execept that we could hear considerably more low-level detail than we'd heard on it with prior listenings months ago, preceding the Oyaide.
I left the music playing at low levels last night. Today, the entire picture has changed. A mild haze, one I attributed to the CD (I'd never thought it a great-sounding CD) vanished. Completely. Hadn't touched a thing. The strings, which I mentioned only last night, sounded strained and gritty, now sound terrific on fff passages. The vivacity of the 2nd movement, which seemed restrained -- now is not restrained at all. (The Chicago Orchestra version (HP's favorite) made chopped liver of the Kirov: now they're close to equal.) Haven't listened to the Chicago today)but the point is: the unit is clearly not completely broken in. Keep it playing or plug a light in for at least 9 days (the length of time I've had it) before you even think of assessing it. I would've said the Oyaide was an excellent outlet. Now I would say it is a superb outlet. Comparisons are extraneous: this outlet matches my Hurricanes in that hard to explain category: continuousness. When flutes would go up and down the scale, before today, certain notes would drop out as though they'd gone below the noise floor. Not today. And flutes do not play loudly, so it's easier to hear. On top of this, the orchestral environment has ramped up quite a bit, so the Mariinsky Theatre (yes, it's spelled correctly according to the CD jacket!) has an ambient atmosphere not evident before-- or I should say, less evident that last night. And to top this off, the volume on the Arcam is at 7. Last night it was at 8, and I hear, in the 4th movement, right before the players begin to play, begin to wind up to hit their first notes, meaning the low level detail is greatly evident, also meaning: extremely low noise floor.
Give this -- and any -- unit you buy, time. I do have to say, the FIMs, even the gold one, are excellent, but in the areas of transient information, lower treble information, inter-transient silence, and "jump" simply not competitive.
I'm breaking in a Tesla on the dedicated outlet right next to this one. Two days ago, it sounded hazy. I can only assume it will also take weeks to break in as well. I want to thank crossram2x4, who loves the Teslas more, for his suggestion about breaking in for 2 weeks. I shall apply this wisdom to the Oyaides as well. But if they continue to improve, I shall consider this $145.00 purchase exceedingly well spent money, next to the purchase of the Hurricanes 7 years ago, and the Audience 2aRp-Teflon unit most of all (God, that thing is dazzling).
I had the R1 and loved it for a few months then grew tried of it, hyped up upper mids and highs. I tried the 20A Porter Port and I found it much better across the board and much more real then the R1.

I use McIntosh gear so I know that not a forward or bright design with the R1 it was. Though I have to say for awhile I loved the hyper detail and the forwardness of the sound, but then it became much to much on every recording it sound and effect was quite evident.
Interesting, Philly. I haven't noticed a hyped up upper midrange and highs, but I'll look out for that.
While I'm waiting for my Hurricanes to arrive back home, I'm using an Arcam FMJ 22 integrated. Given that the Arcam is pretty natural in the upper midrange, I'd expect to thear a harsher upper midrange through it, but haven't found that to be the case.
The clearest indicator of any audio component is how much the sound changes from cut to cut. I have a Teslaplex that I recently purchased (a few weeks ago). It sounded a bit grainy, BUT I trusted those who have listened to it longer. I decided that the unit was not securely tightened due to the drywall crumbling a little, so I bough some MDF, cut it and put it behind the upper and lower screw of the Tesla unit, and then listened again. The grain was gone. Lesson learned: eliminate vibration completely. I was surprised at the difference, although I always heard that the Tesla's highs were clearer than the FIM 880 gold and that tambourine in the Nutcracker (Mercury Living Presence, the original CD , not the SACD re-issue) on disc 2, cut 4, was more evident, and brasses were more dynamic. I'll have to listen again with another Tesla unit and see how it sounds.